Richard Williams is a 28 year old 178cm guard that is back in the BBL having signed with Phoenix Hagen. He recently completed his first season with the Kirchheim Knights averaging 15,5ppg, 4,2apg and 8,0rpg. In the 2014-2015 season, he played for the Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL): EuroChallenge: 2 games: 9.0ppg, 3.5rpg, 6.5apg, 2.0spg; German BBL: 9 games: 8.2ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 40.6%, 3FGP: 48.0%, FT: 70.6%, in Jan.’15 moved to SC Rasta Vechta (Germany-ProA): 12 games: 4.6ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg. He is a very fast guard that can play either one or two. Great at pushing the break. Can score by shooting the three or using his explosiveness to beat his man. Gets to the basket and scores in traffic. A specialist in steals that uses his quickness to intimidate on defense. Great ball control. Gets the whole team involved when playing the point but can takeover a game at any time. He started his basketball career at San Diego St. (NCAA) in 2005 where he played until 2009. In his senior year he played 36 games: 7.2ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.5apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 40.9%, 3Pts: 37.5%, FT: 64.2%. In 2009-2010, he started his professional basketball career for The San Diego Surf (ABA), in Jan.’10 moved to FSU Selfoss (Iceland-Express League, starting five): 8 games: 27.5ppg, 8.1rpg, 3.4apg, 2.8spg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 72.7%. In 2011-2012, he played for UBC Hannover Tigers (Germany-ProB) 33 games: 18.3ppg, 5.1rpg, Assists-4(5.7apg), Steals-2(3.2spg), FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 75.8%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for SC Rasta Vechta playing 38 games: 15.6ppg, 5.2rpg, Assists-1(6.7apg), Steals-1(2.5spg), FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 79.9%. In the 2013-2014 season for Vechta he played 34 games: 14.6ppg, 4.7rpg, 4.4apg, Steals-3(1.9spg), FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 29.3%, FT: 82.7%. He spoke to German Hoops after signing with Phoenix Hagen earlier this summer.
Thanks Richie for talking to German HoopsIn our last interview at the end of the season you had talked about going to Miami and some pics popped up of you in Austria. So where are you at the moment and how has your summer progressed since the last time we talked?
Everything has been going well. I’m in Austria right now preparing for this upcoming season.
After a very strong Pro A season last season with Kirchheim where you led the league for the second time in assists, how was the off season transfer period? Did you get more BBL offers than you might have expected or was it more minimal?
I didn’t have any expectations this summer is terms of offers. I went into this summer just wanting to weigh my options and capitalize on the best opportunity.
You led the Pro A in assists in the 2012-2013 season with 6,7apg and last season with Kirchheim it was 8,0apg.Your stats in both seasons otherwise were pretty similar. How is Richie Williams the playmaker better today than that first season with SC Rasta Vechta?
I’m much better at picking my spots and controlling the game than I was back then.
You really had a lot to prove last season after your disappointing season in 2014-2015 where you were never 100% healthy. Did you ever feel any pressure last season about having to prove yourself again?
My goal was to prove I’m healthy. I never felt any pressure in terms of how I will perform on the court. I don’t think people question my abilities when I’m 100%.
Congrats on signing with Phoenix Hagen in the Beko BBL. You are back for a third season in the best league in Germany. How does it feel to be back this time and how is it different than the first two times with SC Rasta Vechta and the Fraport Skyliners?
The opportunity is great and I appreciate Hagen investing in me. This is my 3rd lap in the BBL so I come with experience in knowing what to expect and what it takes to be successful.
You stated in an interview recently with me that you wanted to win a title this season. That will be more of a reach with Phoenix Hagen, but how tempting and challenging is it to battle for reaching the playoffs?
Everyday will be a challenge to grow as an individual and as a team to compete against other teams working through that same process. Winning is hard but all is possible with the right mindset and work ethic.
What sold you on Phoenix Hagen? Is the fact that they play a very fast game what lured you most to signing on the dotted line?
I felt the system catered to my strengths.
You have played against Phoenix Hagen in the past and know the kind of good work that head coach Ingo Freyer has been. It isn´t often that the same guy stays that long with the same team that doesn´t have the biggest budget. What do you respect most about him as a coach and person?
When a coach can stay at club as long as he has that says a lot. It says a lot more when you have players that stayed 4-5 years with him as well.
What do you feel will be the biggest asset that you will give Phoenix Hagen this season?
My ability to create for others.
You never had any luck playing against Phoenix Hagen having a 0-3 record against them and shot 3/13 from outside. In two games, you lost by a total of only three points. What do you remember most from these games?
Losing at the buzzer in the first game and losing in overtime in the last game. Two heartbreakers.
In two of these games David Bell had 26 and 25 points. How glad are you to be able to call David Bell a teammate now?
He’s a guy that can light it up. I’m looking forward to having half of my assist going to him.
Last season there seemed to be some problems on the court with sharing the ball between David Bell and last seasons point guard Brandon Jefferson. How content are you that Phoenix Hagen is David Bell´s team?
I’m coming to coexist with everyone on the team. I don’t care who’s team it is, I just play to win.
You obviously will get your share of fast break points each game, but could this be a season where you could challenge for the Beko BBL assist race? You never averaged more than 4,4apg in the Beko BBL. Could you average 7 or 8 apg this season in the system of Ingo Freyer?
I can. We’ll just have to see how this season plays out.
Since arriving in the BBL in 2009 the club has only reached one playoff in 2013. In that time they had many talented point guards like Brandon brooks, Mark Dorris, Davin White, Henry Dugat, Zamal Nixon and Brandon Jefferson. Only one with Davin White has been able to lead the club to the playoffs. How much of a challenge will it be for you to add on to the point guard legacy and be the second point guard to lead a team into the playoffs after Davin White did who made the jump after Phoenix Hagen to the best league in Europe the Endesa in Spain?
There is no challenge. I don’t compare myself, I just be myself.
You stated that this summer you want to work most on finishing and being a knock down shooter. How happy have you been with your off season workouts concerning improving your shot?
Everyday is a work in progress. I love working out, I love the process of getting better, and for that reason I’m in the gym everyday.
Now that Lebron finally won an NBA title with the Cavs where does his legacy stand now. How much closer is he to Michael Jordan or considering his stats and all is he the best player ever now?
He’s a legend in his own right but in my opinion he’s not on Jordan’s level.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Richie for the chat.